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Whitworth University Asian Studies Minor
The Asian studies minor was created out of recognition that the vast region labeled "Asia" has greatly influenced, and continues to influence, human experience throughout
the world. Whether Asia is viewed as a source of world religions, half the earth's
population, much of the economic growth of the last few decades, or a microcosm of the
diversity of political and economic policies, it is clear that gaining a better understanding
of Asia requires an interdisciplinary approach. The Asian studies minor builds upon the
strengths of courses in the social sciences and humanities that focus on Asia or particular
Asian countries. The confluence of these courses allows students to develop an integrated
understanding of the region, read difficult texts, understand and formulate abstract
ideas and make informed judgments about a world of many cultures. This focus on the
"other" is fundamental to understanding the student's own culture and the values that
shape his or her worldview. From this understanding, it is hoped that students can begin
to construct bridges across cultures.
The learning outcomes of the Asian studies minor prepare the student to do the following:
- Use an interdisciplinary framework to understand a foreign culture.
- Understand and reflect on the cultures of Asia in relation to the student's own culture.
- Read and speak Japanese or Chinese at a level sufficient to begin study in either country.
- Augment a student's major coursework with a concentration in Asia.
- Understand the role that Asia plays in shaping the contemporary world as well as how outside forces have shaped Asia.